Evan McCormick, Center for Presidential History, fluent in Spanish and available to discuss the presidential race with Spanish-speaking media platforms.

The following is an excerpt from an SMU news release. READ MORE

Republican rhetoric on immigration bodes well for Democrats in November

In the grand scheme of the presidential race, McCormick doesn’t think either party has a candidate who has transcended their party’s general acceptance by the Latin-American community in the United States.

“The way immigration has become a security issue for the Republican party has alienated most Latino voters, with the exception of Cubans in Florida, who still vote Republican because of their distaste for the Castro regime,” McCormick says. “The Democrats seem to be most well-positioned to have a productive relationship with Mexico and other Latin American countries.

“Like Republicans, Democrats are also looking for policy solutions to undocumented migrants, but with fewer security measures and more long-term cooperation and planning,” McCormick adds.

Evan McCormick is conversationally fluent in Spanish.

McCormick is a resident fellow of the Center for Presidential History at SMU who can discuss:

  • border security
  • international trade in the Americas
  • U.S.-Latin American relations
  • international diplomacy

Dedman College alumnus Emmanuel Sanders worked hard to reach Super Bowl again

Sealy News

Originally Posted: February 4, 2016

Emmanuel Sanders is rapidly growing to icon status with his second trip to the Super Bowl since entering the National Football League in 2010.

Sanders, who is a 2005 graduate of Bellville High School, knew from a young age what he wanted out of life – to be a professional athlete.

As a young man, growing up to a single mom of three children, the value of hard work was instilled in Emmanuel on many levels. Family first, is the mindset of the Sanders family.

Emmanuel’s sister, Precious Sanders Seymore, described the family as a very close-knit group, who to this day still talk and text daily to support each other. READ MORE

Student achievement in the spotlight during SMU Engaged Learning Week, Feb. 8-12, 2016

SMU’s Engaged Learning Week expands its schedule for 2016 and features a growing undergraduate presence at the University’s annual Research Day as well as presentations from McNair Scholars and Summer Research Fellows.

This year’s event takes place Feb. 8-12 and will help students learn more about expanding their education outside the classroom, from undergraduate research and community service to professional internships and creative projects.

The week begins Monday, Feb. 8 with presentations by graduating Engaged Learning Fellows in Community Service and Internships at 12:30 p.m., followed by a Creative Projects panel at 3 p.m., both in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. READ MORE

Valentine’s Ideas, courtesy of Bumble


Originally Posted: February 3, 2016

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Dedman College alumnus Matt Alexander featuring Valentine’s day gift idea’s from Bumble, a company founded by another Dedman College alumna, Whitney Wolfe.

Over the past year or so, it’s been a pleasure to watch the rapid rise and success of Bumble, an innovative dating app, which seeks to create a better, safer, and more enjoyable experience for men and women alike.

From prominent coverage in the press to creative pop-ups at events around the world, the team at Bumble has got a masterful idea of how to foster a fantastic community of people.

And it’s made all the better by the fact that I knew some members of their team — namely Whitney Wolfe, their founder, and Alex Williamson, their head of marketing — at university.

Given the three of us graduated within a year or two of each other and went onto found companies swirling around the realms of technology and culture, we’ve been in loose touch in recent months, looking for a chance to bring our respective companies together. And, finally, we’ve found an ideal chance to work with them: to help prepare you, unsuspecting men and women, for Valentine’s Day. READ MORE

TechCrunch: Physics grad Liang Lu ’05 developed a competitor for Craigslist called 5miles, which has over 5 million downloads and sold $1 billion worth of goods in 2015


Originally Posted: January 26, 2016

Can a mobile classified app topple the behemoth that is Craigslist? We’ve asked the question before (more than once, in fact), and it looks like it may be in order again: 5miles, an app developed in China but being rolled out in the U.S. first as a quick way for people to list and buy items locally, has raised $30 million in funding to beat the classifieds leader at its own game. It has a couple of ace cards in its hand to help: 5miles was created to be mobile-first; it comes with some AI-based vetting features; and it costs absolutely nothing to use.

This latest round, a Series B, brings the total raised by the company to over $50 million. With this latest funding, 5miles’ valuation is over $300 million, TechCrunch understands.

5miles first launched in the U.S. in January 2015 after being founded by Lucas Lu, a physics PhD who had also worked at Alibaba and was a CTO at Chinese marketplace app Light in the Box. Although the app was built in China, Lu had done graduate work at Southern Methodist University, so when it came to launching the app he went back to Dallas as a starting point. READ MORE

Abbott’s play for national audience draws questions about higher-office plans

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: February 2, 2016

AUSTIN — On the first anniversary of his residence in the Texas Governor’s Mansion, Gov. Greg Abbott was in Israel, more than 7,000 miles from his home state. He was meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and once again railing against President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

The trip, Abbott’s third international voyage in recent months, followed quickly on the heels of his headline-making plan to amend the U.S. Constitution and take back states’ rights, which he revealed earlier this month.

As many Texas governors before him have done, Abbott is placing himself squarely in the middle of national and international politics. The high-profile moves have many in the political sector wondering whether the newly minted governor is angling — as his recent predecessors have — for a run at the White House or another prominent national position.

Washington D.C. news outlet The Hill fueled those gossip flames on Tuesday, when it endorsed the idea of Abbott as GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s vice presidential choice.

“Trump – Abbott, that’s a ticket to make America great again and put the fear of God in America’s enemies, foreign and domestic!” writer Paul Nagy said in the blog post.

Abbott says he’s happy leading the “greatest state in the United States,” and experts say it’s too early to tell whether the governor may be aiming for national office. But Abbott’s moves do burnish his conservative bona fides during a presidential primary where his endorsement could make a difference.

“I think we shouldn’t be surprised that the governor of one of the largest, most populous states is inserting himself in the national conversation,” said Jim Henson, a University of Texas at Austin political scientist.

Even as attorney general, Abbott had a penchant for making a national scene with lawsuits challenging federal regulations that he said went too far and hurt the Texas economy. He sued the Obama administration over issues ranging from the Affordable Care Act to clean air regulations.

“I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home,” Abbott famously said as attorney general.

Abbott’s distrust and disdain for the federal government continued during his first year as governor. He made national headlines last spring for ordering Texas National Guard troops to keep an eye on Jade Helm 15, a U.S. military training operation. READ MORE

Matthew Wilson, Political Science, What are the Chances it Won’t Be Hillary?


Originally Posted: February 2, 2016

IOWA (WBAP/KLIF NEWS) – Voters are making their voices heard in the Democratic Presidential Primary.

SMU Political Science Professor, Matthew Wilson, says the race isn’t looking very good for Hillary Clinton, after the Iowa caucuses.

“The fact that she was neck and neck here is a bit of a blow to her campaign. She’s still highly likely to be the Democratic nominee, but I think the Sanders people feel kind of excited about where they finished.”

He adds on the GOP side, it’s no longer just a two-man race between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, but a three-man race with Marco Rubio finishing so strong in Iowa. READ MORE

Iowa caucuses will determine long or short primary season

SMU News

Originally Posted: February 1, 2016

The following is an excerpt from an SMU news release:

DALLAS (SMU) – Not unlike expectations that a groundhog seeing its shadow can predict a long winter or early spring, the results of the Iowa caucuses can determine whether Americans are in for a long or short primary season. SMU experts are ready to discuss who has the most at stake, what factors could determine who wins Iowa, and what impact the results will have on the Republican and Democrat presidential races at large.

For Sanders, Iowa a Must-Win; For Republicans, A Chance to Coalesce

Matthew Wilson

There’s no doubting stakes are high for candidates in both parties in the Iowa caucus, but as Wilson sees it, they’re highest for Bernie Sanders supporters and anyone-but-Trump Republicans.

“If Sanders is able to win Iowa, then he could become a bigger movement, but if he does not win Iowa, then the expected New Hampshire win starts to look like more of a home-field anomaly and the air starts to come out of his balloon,” Wilson said. “If he wants to be more than a novelty, Iowa is a big night for him.”

The Republican race took an unexpected turn when Donald Trump’s biggest challenger turned out to be Ted Cruz, a politician Wilson says is reviled by many of his Republican colleagues. Rivals attacked Cruz persistently at Thursday’s debate, potentially turning Monday’s question from “who wins Iowa” to “who finishes second?”

“If Marco Rubio moves past Cruz to second place, that becomes a big story,” Wilson says. “That would show some coalescing of the conventional republican establishment behind one candidate.”

If the unexpected happens and Trump loses Iowa, Wilson says it could deal a tremendous blow to the real estate mogul, whose campaign has been all about, “An aura of momentum, confidence and impending victory.”

Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science.


Spanish missions triggered Native American population collapse, indirect impact on climate


Originally Posted: January 26, 2016

New interdisciplinary research in the Southwest United States has resolved long-standing debates on the timing and magnitude of American Indian population collapse in the region.

The severe and rapid collapse of Native American populations in what is now the modern state of New Mexico didn’t happen upon first contact with Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s, as some scholars thought. Nor was it as gradual as others had contended.

Rather than being triggered by first contact in the 1500s, rapid population loss likely began after Catholic Franciscan missions were built in the midst of native pueblos, resulting in sustained daily interaction with Europeans.

The indirect effects of this demographic impact rippled through the surrounding forests and, perhaps, into our atmosphere.

Those are the conclusions of a new study by a team of scientists looking for the first time at high resolution reconstructions of human population size, tree growth and fire history from the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico.

“Scholars increasingly recognize the magnitude of human impacts on planet Earth, some are even ready to define a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene,” said anthropologist and fire expert Christopher Roos, an associate professor at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and a co-author on the research.

“But it is an open question as to when that epoch began,” said Roos. “One argument suggests that indigenous population collapse in the Americas resulted in a reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because of forest regrowth in the early colonial period. Until now the evidence has been fairly ambiguous. Our results indicate that high-resolution chronologies of human populations, forests and fires are needed to evaluate these claims.”

A contentious issue in American Indian history, scientists and historians for decades have debated how many Native Americans died and when it occurred. With awareness of global warming and interdisciplinary interest in the possible antiquity of the Anthropocene, resolution of that debate may now be relevant for contemporary human-caused environmental problems, Roos said. READ MORE